APPARENTLY, there are 35 new diet books due to be published this month. I for one have not managed to get through a TV ad break without seeing the latest offering from a diet club, meal replacement product or celebrity exercise DVD.

New Year, Know You
Gym membership mailshots are dropping through letterboxes across at a rate of knots and every magazine and newspaper in the country is offering us information on how to lose weight and get fit.  

So, how is this article any different you may ask? 

This year, instead of offering you a ‘New Year New You’, I’m asking you to make this the year when you get to really know you.

2013 health and fitness resolutions

- The year you stop dieting for good and instead focus on understanding your body and how it works. 

- The year you stop wasting money on gym memberships you never use and look instead  to find fitness activities that make you smile as well as sweat.

- The year you take a good look at what’s going on inside your head and get to the root causes of why you over eat/under exercise or both.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing lots of information about your body’s endocrine system (the glands that produce, store and secrete your hormones) and teaching you how to use that knowledge to manage your personal body issues. 

By helping you to know and understand your body and mind, I’m sure you can make 2013 the year that you make changes that will benefit you for life.

But before we look at making those changes, I need you to focus on how the food you put into your mouth affects your body and mind. Back in September I wrote an article telling you why diets don’t work which you can check out here.

In the article I talked about the problem of seeing diets as a short term fix – something we start and finish. This is especially true at New Year when we promise ourselves a clean slate, a chance to rid ourselves of the overeating ills of the previous year(s). But that’s where the problem lies – we’re going to cut out chocolate, cheese, chips and all life’s other food and drink related pleasures (some of which don’t begin with the letter ‘c’) without understanding why we’re doing it. 

Monitor how foods you eat affect your body and your mood.Monitor how foods you eat affect your body and your mood.

- Why do we eat biscuits at the same time every afternoon? 

- Why can’t we stop after one glass of wine? 

- Why do certain foods leave us feeling hungry? 

Upcoming articles will tackle all of these issues and more, but because we’re all different you need to understand your own body and mind to fully benefit from the information in them.

So, here’s what I want you to do...

New Year, Know YouFor now, I don’t want you to change any of your food and drink habits. Instead, monitor how each of the foods you eat affect your body (energy levels etc) and your mood.  

Do this for a week and then look to see if you can see any patterns are emerging. For example, do you always feel bloated after you eat bread?  Do you reach for the biscuit barrel at 3 o’clock because you’re feeling tired?  Do you get indigestion after you eat? Are you always tired when you get up in the morning?

There’s a free, easy to use food and mood tracker available to download on my website here. Get tracking and make the first important steps towards knowing your body and making 2013 the year you get fitter, healthier and happier.

Sara Perry is a Personal Trainer & Development Coach passionate about helping women over the age of 40 live fitter, happier and healthier lives.  

For more information visit or email

Follow Sara on Twitter @renaissance_4w